The Hut in the Forest: Asceticism and Architecture

October 8, 3:30pm - 4:30pm
Mānoa Campus, Hamilton Library Room 301


Kazi Ashraf, Architecture

Asceticism is a paradoxical project, and is deeply implicated with its fundamental object of renunciation: architecture. In the talk, using primarily Buddhist materials, Kazi will flag themes that have recurrent presence in ascetic thoughts either in the institutional environment of asceticism or in its clandestine presence in architecture. The primary ascetic practice of renouncing, of the goal of arriving at “nothing,” will be set next to the other manifestations: modern minimalism and primitivism. Asceticism is sociological in its operation which is most apparent in the preoccupation with the notion of home, the intense desire for its dissolution or reformation. And, where is home, there is an occupant. Ascetic praxis thus gives evidence of a deep relationship between the dweller and dwelling, whence it is more critical to talk about the crisis of dwelling rather than aesthetical matters.

Kazi Ashraf teaches in the School of Architecture, and writes on architecture and asceticism, phenomenology of architecture and landscape, Asian urbanism, and architecture in South Asia. He was guest editor of the Architectural Design special issue Made in India (Nov/ Dec 2007), which received the Pierre Vago Journalism Award from the International Committee of Architectural Critics (CICA). His most recent books include The Hermit’s Hut: Architecture and Asceticism in India (University of Hawaii Press, 2013) and Designing Dhaka: Manifesto for a Better City (Loka, 2012).

Ticket Information
Free and open to the public

Event Sponsor
Presented by: Vice Chancellor for Research and Graduate Education Office of Research Relations, and the UHM Library, Mānoa Campus

More Information
Teri Skillman, 808-956-8688,

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